[ freyz ]
/ freɪz /
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See synonyms for: phrase / phrases / phrasing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object), phrased, phras·ing.
verb (used without object), phrased, phras·ing.
Music. to perform a passage or piece with proper phrasing.
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Origin of phrase

First recorded in 1520–30; (noun) back formation from phrases, plural of earlier phrasis, from Latin phrasis “diction, style” (plural phrasēs), from Greek phrásis “diction, style, speech,” equivalent to phrá(zein) “to speak” + -sis-sis; (verb) derivative of the noun

synonym study for phrase

1. Phrase, expression, idiom, locution all refer to grammatically related groups of words. A phrase is a sequence of two or more words that make up a grammatical construction, usually lacking a finite verb and hence not a complete clause or sentence: shady lane (a noun phrase); at the bottom (a prepositional phrase); very slowly (an adverbial phrase). In general use, phrase refers to any frequently repeated or memorable group of words, usually of less than sentence length or complexity: a case of feast or famine—to use the well-known phrase. Expression is the most general of these words and may refer to a word, a phrase, or even a sentence: prose filled with old-fashioned expressions. An idiom is a phrase or larger unit of expression that is peculiar to a single language or a variety of a language and whose meaning, often figurative, cannot easily be understood by combining the usual meanings of its individual parts, as to go for broke. Locution is a somewhat formal term for a word, a phrase, or an expression considered as peculiar to or characteristic of a regional or social dialect or considered as a sample of language rather than as a meaning-bearing item: a unique set of locutions heard only in the mountainous regions of the South.


mis·phrase, verb (used with object), mis·phrased, mis·phras·ing.un·phrased, adjective


frays, phrase
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How to use phrase in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for phrase

/ (freɪz) /

a group of words forming an immediate syntactic constituent of a clauseCompare clause (def. 1), noun phrase, verb phrase
a particular expression, esp an original one
music a small group of notes forming a coherent unit of melody
(in choreography) a short sequence of dance movements
verb (tr)
music to divide (a melodic line, part, etc) into musical phrases, esp in performance
to express orally or in a phrase

Word Origin for phrase

C16: from Latin phrasis, from Greek: speech, from phrazein to declare, tell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for phrase


A group of grammatically connected words within a sentence: “One council member left in a huff”; “She got much satisfaction from planting daffodil bulbs.” Unlike clauses, phrases do not have both a subject and a predicate.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.